It’s Beatles day!  This day in 1964, the Fab Four appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, their  stardom in North America assured.  And this is the 3rd annual celebration of that day here on the ‘Bin of (I can’t believe it).  So, let the very nerdy celebration begin!

As a sort of companion piece to an earlier post of mine, Beatles ’71. That post told the tale of the Beatles taking a break in 1969, re-defining their band for themselves by taking the pressure off with concurrent solo careers, and putting out an album to follow up Abbey Road in 1971.  Here is another in the possible series of fantasy Beatles albums, thought up entirely by me.  Of course, if that earlier post indulged in major revisionist history, then this one multiplies that by ten. In the real timeline of course, Lennon was killed in the street in 1980.  Not so in this timeline, friends.  That’s a pretty big barrier to overcome.  But, that’s the great thing about fantasy, right?

Here’s the story so far.  Besides solo careers, The Beatles released material very sporadically after Beatles ’71. By this time, the Beatles were a hobby band, a refuge rather than a millstone for the four men who created it.  So, they took their time with the Beatles, enough to make sure that the Beatles were, above all things, fun for them.

So, after Beatles ’71 they put out a double-A side single in “Junior’s Farm/#9 Dream” in 1974.  Then, they release a double live album in the year of double live  album releases, 1976. Their last studio album, Free As A Bird is released in 1980.  After that, Harrison ducks out of the music business for most of the 1980s to concentrate on his film company.  And the Beatles never re-emerge on LP before Harrison’s death in 2001, although a new double A-side single is  released in 1987 to celebrate the 20th anniversary release of Sgt. Pepper (‘When We Was Fab“/”Once Upon A Long Ago“).  Another double A-side single is released 1994 in celebration of the Anthology project.

But, while The Beatles are on hiatus, Lennon and McCartney record a very special TV show on MTV and a parallel album in 1993, the 30th year anniversary of the release of their first number one song and album.   The concert would be at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. The duo gathered a band, mostly on McCartney’s recommendation, but with Lennon’s approval.  And it is decided that since this is a celebration of the two young composers they once were, the material on the album is centered on the fruits of their earliest work, plus some of their favourite R&B covers that helped to inspire them.

The setting of the album is subdued and casual, and of course acoustic and live in front of an intimate crowd.  The proceedings are punctuated with humour and of the reminiscing of that earliest period of their careers.

Here is that record!

Lennon & McCartney: 30th Anniversary Unplugged

John Lennon – Vocals, guitar, harmonica

Paul McCartney – Vocals, guitar

Robbie Mckintosh – guitar

Pino Pallidino – Bass

Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens – piano, accordion

Alan White – drums

  1. Love Me Do
  2. Please Please Me
  3. I Call Your Name
  4. Some Other Guy
  5. There’s A Place
  6. Things We Said Today
  7. If I Fell
  8. All My Loving
  9. Baby’s in Black
  10. Money Honey
  11. Hippy Hippy Shake
  12. Not A Second Time
  13. I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party
  14. Soldier of Love
  15. Ask Me Why
  16. Yes It is

Of course, the Beatles Anthology project would be broadcast the next year, with Lennon of course giving new interviews and fresh insights to the proceedings.  A new double A-side single from the Beatles is released in celebration.  A tour is considered, briefly.  But, Harrison holds out, and the others decide concentrate on their personal lives, as a phase of the Beatles as an entity enters what they call its “twilight years”.  All of this despite huge offers for world tours and record deals.

Solo careers continue, and among other projects, McCartney and Lennon record another live album together.

Lennon records an album with Wilco as his backing band …

Anyway, before I get carried away, what’s your take, good people?  Any songs that should be in the running order that I missed? Indulge yourself!


14 thoughts on “Fantasy Albums: Lennon & McCartney 30th Anniversary Unplugged

  1. I prefer my fantasy of Paul McCartney retiring from the music business altogether to focus on making a line of vegetarian soups. Paul teams with the Campbell’s Soup Co. to form the McCampbell’s Soup Co. The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Cup of Soup for One becomes a top-selling line of soups for years to come.

    The success of Paul’s all vegetable soup company inspires Mick Jagger to start an all meat soup company. Goat’s Head Soup Co. sells well at first but lacks staying power in the cutthroat canned soup market already dominated by McCampbell’s and their distribution capabilities provided by Campbell’s.


    thank you, this was a lot of fun

  2. I’d throw in I Saw Her Standing There & Twist & Shout. An Elvis cover, how about That’s All Right? And a Berry cover, I’d love to hear John rip through It Wasn’t Me: I met German girl in England who was going to school in France and we danced the Mississippi at an Alpha Kappa dance!

    An aside: My wife just gave me the stereo box for my 50th. Listening with new ears. Think it’s time to watch Anthology again – I keep hoping it’s going to end differently.

    1. Hey Geoff!

      The Elvis cover I heard in my head when compiling this was definitely ‘Money Honey’ with Paul on Lead. I would spare a 52/53 year old John Lennon from having to sing a full-throated ‘Twist & Shout’ and snuck in “Some Other Guy” instead, a number that I always felt they should have put on one of their albums.


      1. I was thinking Sun sides as I read your set list – glossed over Money Honey completely – shame! I hear what you’re thinking though.

  3. I agree that there should be even more R&B/Elvis covers in there (and “Twist and Shout”). I also don’t think they would have ended any concert on such a low energy song as “Yes It Is”. Lennon and McCartney were, among their many talents, great entertainers.

    I also think that, based on the fact Ringo has always been amenable to work with whatever solo Beatle asked him, Ringo would have been a part of any Lennon/McCartney unplugged concert, if even just as a guest artist on a song or two.

    In fact, that might have been the surprise final numbers: Lennon, McCartney and Starr performing “Twist and Shout” and “Roll Over Beethoven”. That deals with all my criticisms in one fell swoop.

    1. Hey Graeme!

      I liked the idea of including Ringo, but didn’t want a ‘Three-tles’ album, you know? I think the idea of a guest appearance is a great one. Maybe the album’s closer could be a rocking version of ‘Boys’ which is one of the highlights off of Please Please Me in any case, with Ringo upfront and John & Paul singing the vitally important backing vocals. That would do it!

      Thanks for stopping by, as always!

      1. You’ve given me a perfect opportunity to say: “want more great stories from The Delete Bin? Click the subscribe button!” Thanks for that, Aidan! 🙂

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